Sunday, August 18, 2013

Profile of Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

What are some common things one would see in people who've survived sexual abuse? While there is no definite or uniform profile of a victim of child sexual abuse, there are many indicators that a person is a survivor. Finding out if an adult or grown up is a victim of sexual abuse during his/her childhood is very difficult since most indicators may already have been overcome. But by looking at an adolescent or teenage respondent, the signs of abuse are very fresh and obvious:

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety and severe feelings of pressure are tangible manifestations of prior sexual abuse. Young adolescents and teens do not have the ability to recover fast from their sexual abuse experience during childhood. As a result, they tend to show behavioral tendencies like being hyper vigilant and paranoid. They will frequently think that anyone they meet will abuse or exploit them. As soon as they begin to be indulged in this kind of personality, their entire life is greatly affected. Although they may have survived the abuse, eliminating the memories of it is still a long road to recovery.


Depression is another sign one would see from a child sexual abuse survivor. It is primarily a lasting imprint of the trauma experienced by the victim. The signs of depression can be shown immediately after the abuse. They can be seen in the behavior and habits like health disorders caused by lack of sleep and food/nutrient intake, alcohol and drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, and isolation.

While an average person is depressed due to usual problems like work and family issues, a child sexual abuse survivor may be a hundred fold more depressed. He/she does not care about the emotional and health consequences of what he/she is doing, as long as he exhibits the symptoms of depression.

Substance and Alcohol Addiction

Adolescent survivors of sexual abuse learn to cope up with the trauma in either good or bad way. In good ways, they allow themselves to be helped through counseling and therapy sessions. As soon as they subject themselves into those methods, they successfully regain control of their future. Unfortunately though, only a few take this road. Many survivors of child sexual abuse turn to alcohol and drug abuse by the time they reach adolescent or teenage years.

The primary reason for it is to provide at least a temporary relief from the pain and trauma they have been suffering from the day they were abused. They also use drugs to momentarily forget the haunting memories of the experience. But then again, succumbing to drugs and alcohol addiction does nothing good to them. In fact, their lives are further ruined by it.

Abnormal and Inappropriate Sexual Behavior and Orientation

There's a great chance that child abuse survivors will become sexually aggressive themselves. Although there are a few who may abuse children as well, there is no scientific or psychological evidence linking future sexually abusive tendencies and prior sexual abuse experience.

Nevertheless, survivors may well be over with what they have suffered before, but this doesn't also mean that they aren't capable of doing the same. Or at least, most adolescent or teen survivors may act a bit stranger sexually, for instance, becoming more interested in engaging in it than other teens of the same age or perhaps experiment with sex more often.

In general, there are various signs one can see in order to know if someone is a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse. However, we should as well put in mind that not all survivors manifest negative consequences. Others are willing enough to tell and share their experience with other victims in order to show to them their recovery and how they were able to cope with the traumatic experience.

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